The Maa-nulth First Nations, meaning “villages along the coast” in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, are made up of 5 First Nations: Toquaht Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h First Nations, Uchucklesaht Tribe, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ. They are part of the larger Nuu-chah-nulth people, who have lived along the west coast of Vancouver Island from for over 10,000 years.
In 1994, multiple Nations making up the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council entered the BC Treaty Commission’s negotiation process. Collectively, these Nuu-chah-nulth Nations negotiated an Agreement-in-Principle with the provincial and federal governments. Each community then held a vote to ratify the Agreement-in-Principle and determine if they wanted to move forward in the BC treaty process. Most of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations voted ‘no’ on the Agreement-in-Principle and decided not to move forward in the treaty process.
However, some Nations voted ‘yes’ on the Agreement-in-Principle and were still in support of continuing on to a Final Agreement. In 2004, these Nations formed the Maa-nulth First Nations to continue negotiating a Final Agreement collectively. After 17 overall years of negotiation, the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement was completed, ratified by all three parties, and implemented on April 1, 2011. It constitutes the full and final settlement of the Aboriginal rights, including Aboriginal title, of each Maa-nulth First Nation, and is a land claims agreement within the meaning of sections 25 and 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982.
The Final Agreement exhaustively defines the rights, obligations, jurisdictions and limitations of the BC provincial government and the Canadian federal government. It also defines each Maa-nulth First Nations’ section 35 rights, their attributes, their geographic extent, and their limitations.
To download the full Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement, click on the image below.